Efficiency of Polyoxometalate-Based Mesoporous Hybrids as Covalently Anchored Catalysts

Polyoxometalate (POM) hybrids have been covalently immobilized through the formation of amide bonds on several types of mesoporous silica. This work allows the comparison of three POM-based mesoporous systems, obtained with three different silica supports in which either the organic functions of the support (amine vs carboxylic acid) and/or the structure of the support itself (SBA-15 vs mesocellular foams (MCF)) were varied. The resulting POM-based mesoporous systems have been studied in particular by high resolution transmission electronic microscopy (HR-TEM) in order to characterize the nanostructuration of the POMs inside the pores/cells of the different materials. We thus have shown that the best distribution and loading in POMs have been reached with SBA-15 functionalized with aminopropyl groups. In this case, the formation of amide bonds in the materials has led to the nonaggregation of the POMs inside the channels of the SBA-15. The catalytic activity of the anchored systems has been evaluated through the epoxidation of cyclooctene and cyclohexene with H2O2 in acetonitrile. The reactivity of the different grafted POMs hybrids has been compared to that in solution (homogeneous conditions). Parallels can be drawn between the distribution of the POMs and the activity of the supported systems. Furthermore, recycling tests together with catalyst filtration experiments during the reaction allowed us to preclude the hypothesis of a significant leaching of the supported catalyst.